Art & music at streetcar stops + Downtown news + CID Movie Night

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Tom Gerend gets a wave from a KC Streetcar driver at the Metro Center stop. Artist Hector Garcia designed the streetcar wrap Jazz: The Resilient Spirit of Kansas City, as part of the Art in the Loop series. The streetcar shelter artwork “Silver Lining” was designed by artist Brittany Noriega.

Art & music are popping up at KC Streetcar stops this summer

By Julie Denesha, KCUR 89.3

In some ways, the fortunes and aspirations of Downtown Kansas City can be traced through the themes of the annual Art in the Loop celebration, which brings visual arts, music and dance into the Downtown districts for weeks each summer.

In 2016, the year Kansas City Streetcar line became operational, the theme was “Connect.” In 2018, a boom year, it was “KC Plays.” In 2020, as Downtown mostly sat moribund in the pandemic, the project went on hiatus. This year it is bouncing back. The theme: “Resilient.”

“It’s been a super, super difficult year for everyone in an uncountable number of ways,” says Jade Green of the musical duo The Black Creatures, one of the performance groups selected to entertain the Downtown audience this summer.

Amado Espinoza will perform live at 5 p.m. Thursday outside of Light Well, 1100 Main. A unique performing artist, composer and instrument maker from Cochabamba, Bolivia, Espinoza respects his folk traditions of the Andes Mountains while creating compositions that are sincere to his musical-wanderlust personality.

“And so resilience speaks to us in so far as we had to get through this pandemic together and we’re still working through it. We’re not quite out of the woods yet,” she said

For Xavier, the other half of The Black Creatures duo, resilience is about moving forward.

“As artists in Kansas City during a pandemic, I think that resilience would be like pushing through,” he says.

“So we acknowledge, you know, the reality of the circumstances, but we don’t say this is who we are now,” Xavier said. “We don’t let these hardships define our identities, individually or as a whole.”

The nonprofit Art in the Loop was founded to commission public art to promote the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Kansas City. Each year, artists and performers submit works based on a new theme. Art director Kyle Mullins says “resilient” clicked for him. Click here to read the complete story.

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Downtown CID Movie Night featuring ‘The Money Pit’ is set for Tuesday. Torres 12th Street Tacos will be serving!